It’s a game of two halves, they say – the first one here was so bad you may as well not have bothered. Two similar shapes cancelling each other out, with an incredible lack of width from both sides. Roma started with Luca Toni upfront as a target man, but he was injured and went off after five minutes – with a half-fit Francesco Totti replacing him. Vucinic, therefore, became the focal point of the attack drifting to the left, and Totti playing as a trequartista. Given such an early reorganisation of the side, we can forgive Roma for their slightly purposeless first half. Read more »
When will we get to the point where no-one will bother questioning Michael Owen’s omission from the England squad?
For many, that point has long passed, although certain media pundits insist that Owen deserves his place in Capello’s 23. The reason Owen deserves to be considered, apparently, is that he is England’s best ‘natural born finisher’, but the fact remains that he’s not even the best English finisher at Manchester United.
See this chalkboard of today’s game against Hull. Wayne Rooney only had one more shot from inside the area than Owen, but ended up with four more goals. Read more »
There isn’t a great deal to say about this one – it pretty much does what it says on the tin. In the past ten years, pace has become arguably the most important quality for young footballers. Read more »
Milan will go down as one of the classic teams of the decade, if only for the players that wore the Rossoneri shirts. It featured a true modern legend in Paolo Maldini, as well as Costacurta, Stam, Cafu, Nesta, Serginho, Pirlo, Redondo, Seedorf, Gattuso, Boban, Kaka, Rui Costa, Leonardo, Rivaldo, Ronaldinho, Shevchenko, Ronaldo, Inzaghi, Crespo, Pato…in fact, more true world-class footballers than any club throughout the decade.
The great attacking players of the late 1990s were easy to pin down to specific positions. Gabriel Batistuta, George Weah and Ronaldo were central forwards; Zinedine Zidane and Manuel Rui Costa were central playmakers; Luis Figo, Ryan Giggs and Marc Overmars were wingers. Read more »
This Brazil side (with slight replacements in certain positions) has already been covered on this site, so it’s probably better for me to just link to the original article I wrote, although this focussed upon Brazil’s friendly against England, rather than the Confederations Cup side the Confederations Cup-winning players on the left.
In terms of one-off results, Senegal beating France in the opening game of the 2002 World Cup was the biggest shock of the decade. It’s one of those results that has gone down in history, so it’s difficult to set the scene to describe what an upset it was. Here goes… Read more »
England’s first competitive fixture of the 2000s saw them start with the Neville brothers in the full-back positions. England’s first competitive fixture of the 2010s will see Ashley Cole and Glen Johnson there – the shift in that position from solid, reliable players to pacey, positive players could not be more marked. Read more »
To include a side on this list whose greatest achievement was to finish 7th one season may seem odd, but the final league table of the 2001/02 season doesn’t do justice to Bologna’s achievements that season – mixing it with the big boys, and only a final day defeat denying them the 4th place which cost them a place in the Champions League, at the expense of Milan – who went on to win the next season’s European Cup. Read more »
It’s fair to say that Guus Hiddink could have had three sides in this list – his 2002 venture to the World Cup semi-finals with South Korea was probably his best achievement of the decade; his 2008 Russia side was probably his best team of the decade. Read more »